I made an offer on a condo yesterday. The bank counter-offered today. I'm accepting their counter. This means that by the end of March it looks like I will own my own place. Yep. 2009 is looking a whole lot better than 2008 was.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My life is currently in flux. But it's at that point of making change in which I sometimes feel like I'm just treading water. I know that in the end there will be changes. Meanwhile, I'm just hanging here in a kind of limbo. I've come to realize that I've been holding off on the craft stuff because I want to get through the most of this change first. So it may be some time before you see any crafts around here but I'll try to keep up with the food stuff.
Whenever I'm about to go through changes in my life, I usually don't like discussing them too much. Fear that it will all fall apart? That's my best guess as to why I keep things to myself. But now I've hit a different part in the process so here goes.
It all started with my aunt's death last July. My dad wanted to pay off her house and to give it to me. Thing is the mortgage on the house was higher than its current value. I spent months telling my dad that it was a bad investment. Then the plan became that he would help me in buying another house with some of the money he had inherited. OK. Perhaps another reason why I was hesitant in sharing was because my life has been filled with promises from my dad. He has a history of not always delivering -- especially on the big stuff. But he gave me the initial financial documents I needed to get pre-approved and so I thought that perhaps things had really changed.
Throughout this all, I have suffered with my mother's derision. Why would I want to buy a house? And if I want a house so desperately, why can't I just buy her house in Richmond off of her? Why don't I want to live in Richmond? (Nothing against my hometown. It's just that I've done the commute on 80. Never again if I can help it. Besides Richmond just isn't quite urban enough for me -- if you understand.) During this past week, other stuff transpired -- I'll get to that shortly -- and my mother made my favorite statement of all. Why would your father ever plant this stupid idea in your head? I haven't spoken to her since that conversation.
And what happened? Well, it seemed innocent and all at first. My dad suggested that I chat with a friend of his who is in real estate. That conversation with his friend completely blindsided me. Why should my father put up so much for a down payment? What about my real estate agent? My mortgage broker? Were they really doing their jobs properly. The first question made me pissed off with my dad. Why didn't he just ask me himself if he was so concerned? (Duh. Because he hates direct confrontation. Let's all pretend that everything is fine.) The other questions? Left me feeling like I'm some idiot who doesn't know how to ask the right questions -- even though I'm not.
Back in December, my father finally started contact with the insurance company for a policy that my aunt had had. We all assumed that he would be the beneficiary. This was part of the money he had promised me as part of a down payment. Last month we found out it wasn't his to promise because I was the beneficiary. I got the check this past week.
I got to thinking. What would happen if I only put 5% down? I ran some preliminary numbers in a spreadsheet and then I contacted my mortgage broker. She confirmed what I thought. It would decrease the amount of loan for which I'd be approved. But I could take care of it on my own.
Thursday evening my dad called to see if I had talked to his friend. He's such a bad liar. Because I told his friend that I was pissed off by the whole thing and I'm sure he called my dad during the day. So I let my dad have it with both barrels. Told him that I would have appreciated it if he could have come to me personally with his concerns instead of going through someone else. And that I had rerun the numbers and did not need him under the scenario his friend had presented. And would not be discussing the topic with him -- or my mother -- any further. Because I was going to make a decision on my terms. Haven't heard from him since that conversation either.
Over the weekend I've had more time to think. So far in this process loads of folks have promised assistance. I know that there are a variety of reasons why they have not been able to deliver. That's OK though. I'm done asking for help. Because it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't need their help. Never have.
This week will mark four years since I moved into this apartment. I did that completely on my own. Found it. Moved in. Unpacked. Done it before. I'll do it again.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sometimes I need to get away from it all to recharge. Nowhere quiet for me though. I need lots of stuff. Too much almost.
Friday I arrived into New York a wee bit jetlagged. (I have great difficulty sleeping on planes. Well, only if I'm sitting in coach.) I decided that the answer, after checking into the hotel, was lunch and a nap. (Oh, and sorry there aren't really any food photos so the descriptions will have to do.) Lunch was at the hotel restaurant -- lobster bisque with creme fraiche and tarragon oil, and an omelet with Yukon gold potatoes, mushrooms and goat cheese.
After my nap, it was off to MOMA. And what a pleasant surprise. From 4-8 on Fridays is Target Fridays. That's right. The folks of one of my favorite stores sponsor a free night at the museum. I loved the museum and know that I will have to go there many more times in my life.
On the walk back to the hotel, I started reading restaurant menus. After deciding which one sounded the most appealing, I headed in and asked if they had a table. (It was around 8:00 pm on a Friday evening.) I was told, "Of course," and the coat check person asked if she could take my coat. After being seated, I was presented with a tray of crostini with an olive tapenade and some sort of eggplant dip. There was also some sort of amuse bouche with goat cheese. My appetizer was a salad of peekytoe crab. The crabmeat was mounded in a round topped with a thin layer of pureed avocado and some frisee. This all rested in some sort of grapefruit sauce surrounded by grapefruit segments and avocado chunks. My entree was the crispy duck confit on a bed a mushrooms and broccoli rabe. And finally for dessert I had a lemon tart with a poppy seed crust and pomegranate sorbet.
During the course of the meal, I began chatting with the couple seated next to me. The wife seemed surprised that I had just happened upon the place. "You know this is one of the top five chefs in New York?" Huh. Yep. Count on me to pull off a maneuver like this. Oh, and the restaurant was db bistro moderne. If I lived in New York, I would go there often.
Saturday I met up with David Dust, Mistress Maddie and the Boy Toy to head to the Metropolitan. But Mistress Maddie had a little suprise for me.
Loads of fun at the museum. Then we had to head in so that David could rest. He had some sort of plague or pox or something.
Saturday evening started off at David's for cocktails and Chinese delivery. After exiting the cab, I had some random carriage driver yelling at me as I crossed the street in front of him. "Hey gorgeous! Gorgeous! You want a ride?" It was so tempting I almost had to ditch David et al.
David will tell you that after the food and drinks that we headed off to a club. I'll believe it when I see photographic proof of such. I was thoroughly impressed on Sunday morning that I had put my clothes neatly away on Saturday night though. I was equally surprised that I had left my phone at David's. I never do that.
By 11 (I awoke at 8), I decided that they had to be starting to get up so I headed back to David's so that we could all head to brunch at his restaurant. Where we had hair of the dog in the form of mimosas. Served by a guy who looked like Grant Show's character in "Swingtown."
Then it was back to the hotel for a quick power nap before heading off to meet up with Lisa B and HFCG at Les Halles for dinner. Just the kind of mellowness I needed to prepare for my return home. Even if the place was packed.
So after 15 hours of traveling -- running a fever and with a sinus headache -- I am back home. And I'm feeling much better today. Nothing like the combination of Drixoral, moutrin and hot & sour soup. Sometime in the night my 102 fever broke and my temperature is normal once more.
And I'm completely recharged. Especially after finding a couple of "surprises" in my mailbox. And I'm also trying to figure out when my next trip to New York will be. I hear rumors there just might be a Dust Bunny convention...
Note: Yes, I am reposting. Because I totally screwed up Lisa's URL. I thought I was better but I'm really not. But I do have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I had every intention of telling y'all about my trip. But I just walked in the door about 25 minutes ago due to flight delays. And I have a 102 fever. So now I'm going to go back to the couch with my blanket while I wait for the Chinese place to deliver. Hot and sour soup. Mmmmm. Oh, and I've already taken drugs as well. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to do my take on the weekend.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Your result for Name That Tune - TV Edition Test...
Totally Completely Addicted!
Wow! You truly ARE addicted to TV! You watch way too much! You should really get up off that couch (or bed or computer) and get out and live some!
And please rate this test if you enjoyed it!!
That's right. I have gotten out as I'm currently in New York.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
First of all, this is a word I rarely say. I figure if you think before acting, then you should almost never have to say this word. And I'm saying it now because lately I have been feeling a wee bit guilty about neglecting y'all. I've just been preoccupied with a lot of other stuff as of late.
There's my new obsession with Facebook. Yeah, I finally caved about a month ago. And now I'm in the midst of planning a reunion/potluck with for a bunch of folks with whom I attended high school. I have had no contact with many of these folks since I graduated back in 1984. So we've also had a lot of catching up to do. And then there have been the conference calls with the other two organizers, both of whom are out of state.
The last week has also been spent obsessing over my trip. I leave tomorrow night for New York. It will be the first "real" vacation I've had in years. Even without the madness of last year, I think I'm way overdue. And the cool thing is that I will get to meet David Dust, Mistress Maddie and LisaB. Needless to say, I'm excited beyond words.
And speaking of David Dust, I came across this nifty little thing on his blog today. You know I had to try it out. The results...
I think I kind of rock. Although they got my title wrong. Anywho. Gotta run. I have packing to do. And hopefully there will be loads of photos once I return.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Make a list of things you can see without getting up.
Bed with behind of cat sticking out from under it. (Boris thinks he's hiding but I can see his tail.) Rug that needs to have cat hair vacuumed from it. TV. CDs that I almost never play since most music I like is on my computer at this point. Sofa with inviting pillows and blanket.
What were you like when you were five?
Shy, mischievous, short-tempered. My family said that I was 5 going on 25.
What are you wearing now?
Yoga pants and hoodie sweater.
What story/book/novel have you read over and over again in your life?
The Tao of Pooh.
What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading?
The Friday Night Knitting Club
Do you nap a lot?
When I'm sick or feeling blue.
Who was the last person you hugged?
My dad last weekend.
What’s your current fandom/obsession/addiction?
What was the last thing you ate today?
Grilled pork chops at a Vietnamese place on Piedmont at lunch with my friend, Emerald.
What websites do you always visit when you go online?
Google reader and Facebook.
What was the last thing you bought?
What are you listening to right now?
The hum of the computer and the clatter of the keys.
What movie are (or were!) you most excited to show your kids?
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
What is your favorite weather, and why?
Anything around 80 degrees or so. I will wear a cardigan even at 90 because it's not really hot to me until it hits at least 95.
What time do you usually get up?
I wake up between 4 and 5 most mornings. I actually get up at 6:30 or so.
What is your most challenging goal right now?
Getting my ass out of bed/off the couch on a consistent basis on weekends.
Say something to the person who tagged you.
Zombie Mom, we really need to do dinner and cocktails soon.
If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?
Favorite vacation spot?
What is your favorite children’s book?
Just one? Anderson's Fairy Tales.
Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you.
Cheese -- because it is bad in the amounts that I'd like to consume it.
If you could meet anyone famous
I'm not sure. My brain hurts already from all this thought so I'm just going to leave this blank.
Also I'm not in the tagging mood so steal away.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Your result for The 'Could you help in an emergency?' Test!...
Thank you, Doctor!
Yay, you're not a moron!
I have always been good in an emergency.
I remember my sophomore year of high school walking to the BART station to catch my bus home. My friends and I suddenly heard a collision. A car had hit a cyclist. I sent one of my friends to calm down the hysteric driver, another to call 911. I sat on the road next to the cyclist and told her not to move, help would be on the way. Of course, she did try to move and I saw what the road had done to her face. I could only imagine what the rest of her looked like. She put her head back down and I kept talking to her.
A year later I was in Monterey with my mom. It was Mother's Day and my dad said that he was too tired to drive to the Bay Area. We were going to go to brunch. My mom and I were waiting in the living room while my dad got ready. Then we heard a crash. My mom ran for the bathroom and then called for my help. My dad was having a seizure and had fallen against the bathroom door. She couldn't get the door open without my help. We got the door open enough for her to slip and then it slammed shut. Once the seizure ended, my mother came out of the bathroom and told me to call "411." I decided to dial "911" instead. But they wanted an address. Well, I knew how to get to my dad's by memory and had forgotten the address so I started to look for pieces of mail. When the paramedics showed up, I was the only one who could remember what my dad had ingested that day. And all of his drug allergies -- the key one being dilantin. (Back then my dad refused to wear his Medic Alert bracelet so I memorized all of the stuff that would have been on the bracelet.) I don't know about now but dilantin was the most common anti-seizure medication back then. And a normal dosage could have killed my father. He sustained a head injury as a result of the seizure and so my mom and I stayed another day to make sure he didn't have a concussion. Cool thing is that I got to miss a day of school as a result. Even more cool was explaining my day off to others when I returned to school. But my close friends knew that my dad had had his first seizure when I was four. And by close, I mean people whom I could count on one hand.
But they've all forgotten now. Now they ask, "How is your father doing?" Seems to be the only people who remember what I went through years ago and now think to ask about my state are my mother, my dad's older sister, and oh yeah, my dad. When I tell most folks whom I know about what has happened in my family over the last year, their first question is, "How is your dad doing?" Funny thing is that they never ask how I'm doing. And if they do, they are perfectly content with my answer of, "Fine." (I say it because I figure that that's what they want to hear.) Because obviously I have not suffered any loss. Or maybe I'm just so strong that this kind of loss would not phase me in the least. But the thing is that if my dad is doing badly, then I am the one who has the ability to make things right. If I'm not at my best? Then my ability to do so disappears. Last weekend I saw my dad for the first time since my stepmother's funeral -- in November. I'm getting better but honestly I haven't been doing that well. But I have recently found something that gives me a reason to crawl out of the bed. And yeah, there are days in which I am pissed off at the world. (My other mother said reminded me that being angry is just a normal part of the grieving process.) Because so much of my life has revolved around my parents's feelings. I'm just collateral damage. I recognized years ago that my parents for whatever reason are basically incapable of giving me the support that I need when bad things happen. Fortunately I have become pretty good at finding this support in other people.
Bottom line. You're having some kind of medical emergency? Wouldn't hurt to have me around.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
So Tuesday's are supposed to be about media and all. I found this over on a friend's FB page and thought it apropos. Besides it helped me kill some time on a slow afternoon at work.
1. Put your iTunes/Ruckus/Napster/etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, go down the playlist or press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag however many friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got it from.
IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Rotation - Clan Greco
WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Hot, Hot, Hot - The Cure
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Sex-O-Matic - The Barkays
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
That La, La, La - Rihanna
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Rise - Bonnie Bailey
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Talking All That Jazz - Stetsasonic
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Never Tear Us Apart - INXS
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Paranoimia - Art of Noise
WHAT IS 2+2?
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS?
Twilight World - Swingout Sister
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Irreplaceable - Beyonce
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Fly on the Windscreen - Depeche Mode
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Surrrender - Swingout Sister
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Sometimes - Erasure
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Looking at the Front Door - Main Source
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Ruffneck - MC Lyte
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
No Parking (On the Dance Floor) - Midnight Star
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Outro Lado - Zuco 103
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Getaway - Latin Hustlers
WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Rapper's Delight - Sugarhill Gang
HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Professional Widow - Tori Amos
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Everlong - Foo Fighters
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
If You Had My Love - Jennifer Lopez
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Night in Tunisia - Miles Davis
WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
When I Grow Up - Garbage
DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
My Funny Valentine - Arturo Sandoval
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
I Got Five on It - Luniz
WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
When I Hold You - Zaab and State of Soul
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
I'm Gonna Be Alright - Jennifer Lopez
Oh. And I'm not tagging anyone. Steal away if you wish.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
A crazy thing happened this weekend. I left the house. And now I have so much to tell y'all but I think it's too much for one post so let me split it all up.
The fun began Friday night. After my aunt's death, family members asked me if there was anything of hers that I wanted. There was -- this one piece of furniture. The problem was how to safely transport it to my place. A couple of weeks ago my dad's cousin let me know that she knew a guy who could. She didn't have his phone number with her at the time. And then I sat back and waited. Until Wednesday.
Now remember how I went to Arby's? Well, that was not my primary reason for being in that part of town. This item that I had seen on Pier One's website was.
Yes, I already had a bed. But that one was crap. The frame was barely in one piece and I never was that thrilled with the headboard. I had wanted a bed like this at the time I bought the other one. I just couldn't afford it then. Funny thing is that this one only cost me $15 more than the other one due to the great sale.
So I called the hauling guy when I got back to the office. He met me at the store Friday night to pick up the bed and then we headed to my aunt's house. Basically everything else had already been cleaned out from the house. It seemed strange and surreal.
I was greatly relieved to see the piece arrive safely in Berkeley. Now the only question is what to put inside of it.